|an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.|
|a children's mummer's parade, as on the Fourth of July, with prizes for the best costumes.|
|—n , pl -ties|
|1.||a. the quality of practical use; usefulness; serviceability|
|b. (as modifier): a utility fabric|
|3.||a. a public service, such as the bus system; public utility|
|b. (as modifier): utility vehicle|
|a. the ability of a commodity to satisfy human wants|
|b. See disutility the amount of such satisfaction|
|a. a measure of the total benefit or disadvantage attaching to each of a set of alternative courses of action|
|b. expected utility See also decision theory (as modifier): utility function|
|6.||(Austral), (NZ) utility truck, Also called: ute a small truck with an open body and low sides, often with a removable tarpaulin cover; pick-up|
|7.||a piece of computer software designed for a routine task, such as examining or copying files|
|[C14: from Old French utelite, from Latin ūtilitās usefulness, from ūtī to use]|
in economics, the determination of the prices of goods and services.
Learn more about utility with a free trial on Britannica.com.